Making an Exit: How to Quit Your Job with Finesse


RESUME MAVEN                                                                                     1. 800.973.1177

Making an Exit: How to Quit Your Job with Finesse
[By Mary Waldron]
Choosing to quit a job to start a new one is a situation that almost every professional must deal with at one time or another. Whether you’re a newbie
who just can’t stand the job or a veteran who is moving on to bigger and better things, your exit always defines your character, and it must be handled
very carefully.

So now that you have a job offer, what next?       them. They may feel somewhat betrayed and           protects the company from having to pay you
When do you give notice, and what should           want to protect themselves from any harm—           unemployment if you want to be a jerk later
you be doing to prepare for your departure?        ”harm” meaning the possibility that you             and claim you were fired, so many employers
Read on to find out what steps you should          might steal sensitive information and files,        require resignations in writing.
take so you’re not kicking yourself later.         etc. So understand that and act accordingly.
                                                                                                       The letter should be short, sweet, and to the
1. Confirm That You Actually Have a New            Before you deliver the news to your boss,           point. Make sure to state what your final day
Job.                                               look around your office and sift out the items      will be (two weeks’ notice is standard), and
                                                   and supplies that belong to you (meaning            thank your employer for the opportunity. You
Any job offer can be rescinded unless you          things you purchased with your own money).          can quickly mention your positive experience
have it in writing. Sometimes employers            For the next day or two, slyly pack and             with the company, but don’t ramble on.
place holds on hiring at unexpected times          transport your possessions—because when             This sort of letter is only meant to be a few
or employees the organization was going            you give your notice, you may only have a           sentences long.
to replace end up staying. At any rate, life       couple of hours to get out.
happens, and an employer doesn’t owe                                                                   5. Leave on a Positive Note.
you anything until you have the offer in           3. Save It.
writing. So if you’re worried that you might                                                           Like I said, people’s true colors always show
be walking into something insecure, get an         Go through your computer and/or cell phone          when they quit jobs. Many people simply put
agreement in writing if the employer doesn’t       and save any important industry-contact             in their two weeks’ notice and don’t even say
offer it. If you don’t, you could end up making    emails or phone numbers now. Of course,             goodbye to anyone. That’s just shady, and
a very regretful mistake.                          keep your integrity about you, and do not           if you do that, you may as well flush your
                                                   overstep the boundaries of intellectual             business relationships with the coworkers
2. Keep Your New Job to Yourself Until You         property and confidentiality, but don’t             you’re leaving down the toilet. Don’t be one
Pack.                                              sacrifice your valuable contacts. Also, make        of those people.
                                                   sure you extract any personal documents
The truth of the matter is you need to be          and/or photos from your computer. Your              Before you leave, make sure to thank your
ready to hit the road when you submit              employer could disable your email and               colleagues and employer for the opportunity
your two-week notice. This means that it’s         company cell phone immediately after you            to work with them. It’s always better not to
probably not wise to inform your boss that         submit your notice.                                 burn bridges, no matter what. The world is
you’re going to leave as soon as you hang                                                              just too small, and it can prove to help you
up the phone after speaking with your new          4. Submit a Written Two-Week Notice.                tremendously later in your professional
employer. Many employers can become, dare                                                              career.
I say, paranoid when you tell them that you’re     When you submit your resignation, make
leaving their ships. The second you inform         sure to bring a formally written letter of
them, you become a member of the “other”           resignation rather than simply saying, “I’m
team in their eyes; you’re no longer one of        leaving.” It’s just professional. Plus, it


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Description: Any job offer can be rescinded unless you have it in writing. Sometimes employers place holds on hiring at unexpected times or employees the organization was going to replace end up staying.
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